Ever wondered what Alabama’s most important contribution to the world of food has been? No, it’s not Lane Cake, although that was recently named the Yellowhammer State’s official dessert. According to the food and travel website Thrillist, it’s white barbecue sauce.
Thrillist listed the most important food innovations for every state, citing America’s long history of innovators, especially in the culinary world. According to the site, Alabama’s white barbecue sauce stands out from the rest because of its unique mix of ingredients, instead of using the boring tomato or mustard-based sauces famous in other states.
Here’s what Thrillist had to say about Alabama’s white barbecue sauce:
Barbecue sauce holds a precarious and little-regarded position in the world of barbecue. Many purists reject the use of the sauce, arguing (mostly correctly) that if the ‘cue is right and moist, it doesn’t need a sauce to cover its faults. The tomato- and mustard-based numbers popular in Texas, Kansas City, Memphis, and the Carolinas all play their part as a bit player in a big show. But only in the Yellowhammer State is that barbecue sauce the real damn star.
Thanks to Big Bob Gibson’s 1925 recipe, citizens of (mostly North) Alabama have been putting a mixture of mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, and pepper on the most boring of barbecue specialties (chicken) plus a bunch of other stuff, for nearly a hundred years. And let me tell you, friends: the fact that this sauce isn’t as popular as the (crappy), thick, tomato-based junk you see in your condiment aisle is a damn national tragedy that changes today.
The rest of the list reveals where some of your favorite foods and restaurants were created. Burgers were officially created in Connecticut, and Iowa is the home of sliced bread, something people are still trying to find “the greatest thing since.” And of course Idaho’s claim to fame will forever be the potato.
The home of some of your favorite restaurants may come as a surprise. Colorado is home to the original Chipotle, Georgia’s greatest innovation is Waffle House (and surprisingly not Coca-Cola), Harold and Kumar are particularly thankful to Kansas for starting White Castle, Domino’s traces its roots to Michigan, and Wendy’s was born in Ohio. And let’s not forget desserts: M&Ms were created in New Jersey, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream calls Vermont home, and TCBY frozen yogurt is a product of Arkansas.
Check out the full list on Thrillist’s site, which includes hilarious commentary for each innovation.